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Xbox, Xbox 360 games added to Microsoft’s cloud gaming program

Backward compatibility reaches the cloud

a turtlelike man in a top had holds a barrel in Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise
A scene from 2008’s Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise on Xbox 360.
Image: Rare/Microsoft Game Studios
Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Microsoft is bringing backward compatibility to the cloud, allowing Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers to stream certain Xbox and Xbox 360 titles via the Xbox Cloud Gaming beta, the company announced Wednesday.

This means that classics like Viva Piñata and The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion are now playable on Android smartphones and tablets. Sixteen titles are available to start, with “more games coming soon,” Microsoft said. The company has updated three of them — both Viva Piñata and its 2008 sequel, Trouble in Paradise, as well as Jetpac Refuelled — with touch controls, so they can be played directly on a touchscreen device without having to connect a gamepad.

“We’ve listened to the feedback, going all the way back to our earliest cloud gaming preview, and making games from previous generations available on mobile devices has been one of the most requested features by the community,” said Microsoft. The cloud gaming beta is limited to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, the highest tier of the company’s Xbox Game Pass library subscription service, which costs $14.99 per month.

Here’s the full initial list, which is heavy on games from Microsoft-owned Rare:

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